Roche to shift focus to primary care treatments

7/2/2008

BASEL, Switzerland Roche’s new chief executive officer Severin Schwan is embracing a new concept of broadening the company’s focus from hospital-based medicines to primary care treatments, as long as they offer greater benefits than existing drugs, according to the Financial Times.

According to Schwan, “I believe less in this question of hospital versus primary care. Our strategy is true medical differentiation.”

The company’s pipeline further adds to this new move as it shows a number of experimental medicines that will be prescribed by general practitioners, such as those for diabetes.

Also, in reference to the setback the pharmaceutical industry is now seeing with companies not launching as many new drugs, Schwan expressed confidence in his company’s ability to bring new medicines to market. He said: “I do wonder whether the pharma model is really broken. I fundamentally believe if you are able to come up with innovative medicines including diagnostics, there will be demand.”

While primary care will factor in to Roche’s new plans, the company will stick to its core foundation of diagnostics, which was helped with the purchase of Ventana and pharmaceuticals including its best selling cancer treatments including Avastin.

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